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Old 08-15-2012, 12:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hip Dysplasia in 10 month old GSD

Hello. Our 10 month old GDS was diagnosed three weeks ago with bilateral hip dysplasia, osteoarthritic changes, degenerative joint diasease, decrease muscle mass & tone. All quite disheartening as both sire and dam were OFA pass.
Diagnostic work up was done after he had three episodes of refusing stairs. At this time, he has seen the rehab specialist who has suggested:
Adequan inj 2X wk for 4 wks then monthly, Dasequan 2/day, Rimadyl 50mg 2x day x 6-8 wks then tramadol for pain as needed, fish oil caps 2x day, 9 home exercises to be done daily, and underwater treadmill therapy to build muscle mass and improve gait. We are overwhelmed as this is all to manage his disease with an anticipated hip replacement down the road after he reaches maturation and relating to function.

My question: is this a programme which seeems sound? and specifically, has anyone had experience with underwater treadmill therapy with HD? This all is at a cost of approx 1K per month and will easily increase if longer medication and aquatherapy is suggestedfor an extended time.

I would very much appreciate any comments from owners or persons with experience with a young GSD with this diagnosis (whose PennHIP cert vet also states has already signs of arthritic changes in the acetabulum and femoral heads) and especially anyone who has used underwater treadmills. Thank you very much. Alex
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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my first thought is to contact your breeder, get your money back to help pay for this. i would be more concerned with his long term prognosis. i would also want a second opinion as this sounds pretty advanced for a ten month old. hopefully gator-bytes will jump in with some of her remedies.

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Old 08-15-2012, 01:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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my first thought is to contact your breeder, get your money back to help pay for this. i would be more concerned with his long term prognosis. i would also want a second opinion as this sounds pretty advanced for a ten month old. hopefully gator-bytes will jump in with some of her remedies.
As easy as it can be to start a lynch mob after the breeder, take a step back and be logical about this. Most contracts will stipulate that if case of HD, the buyer will get a replacement puppy. Most breeders will not offer refunds and it is not the breeder's choice to pursue aggressive treatment so they are under no stipulations to help pay for OP's treatment costs.

Yes, OP should notify the breeder and take the breeder's advise into consideration.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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my first thought is to contact your breeder, get your money back to help pay for this. i would be more concerned with his long term prognosis. i would also want a second opinion as this sounds pretty advanced for a ten month old. hopefully gator-bytes will jump in with some of her remedies.
we have contacted the breeder, a very nice person who has a small kennel BUT is in a business, and as such, we feel has an legal and ethical responsibility to us and the pup. we asked she follow the law of her state and reimburse us the cost of the pup (and the law allows the consumer to decide if they want to keep the animal and we have opted to keep him). what can i say? we fell in love with him and want to do what we can to make his life as comfortable and fulfilling as possible. we await the breeders response. btw, we have spent well over the price we paid for him already.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have had several people tell me the water therapy works very well.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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As easy as it can be to start a lynch mob after the breeder, take a step back and be logical about this. Most contracts will stipulate that if case of HD, the buyer will get a replacement puppy. Most breeders will not offer refunds and it is not the breeder's choice to pursue aggressive treatment so they are under no stipulations to help pay for OP's treatment costs.

Yes, OP should notify the breeder and take the breeder's advise into consideration.
the breeder lives in a state which has "lemon pet laws" and require her to compensate the buyer for congenital anomolies up to the purchase price. we are not trying to be nasty to her but we do feel this is a very, very costly process and we did purchased a pup expecting at least a few years of healthy, happy days. I know the breeder did not do this purposefully but as in a business, there are costs associated with the unfortunate incident. both the law and my family believes with all sincerity we want to do the best we can for this pup, we are in for a long, difficult, and massively expensive process. I have no hard feelings toward the breeder but as a business owner, understand there are times when one simply must do the right thing.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hello. Our 10 month old GDS was diagnosed three weeks ago with bilateral hip dysplasia, osteoarthritic changes, degenerative joint diasease, decrease muscle mass & tone. All quite disheartening as both sire and dam were OFA pass.
Diagnostic work up was done after he had three episodes of refusing stairs. At this time, he has seen the rehab specialist who has suggested:
Adequan inj 2X wk for 4 wks then monthly, Dasequan 2/day, Rimadyl 50mg 2x day x 6-8 wks then tramadol for pain as needed, fish oil caps 2x day, 9 home exercises to be done daily, and underwater treadmill therapy to build muscle mass and improve gait. We are overwhelmed as this is all to manage his disease with an anticipated hip replacement down the road after he reaches maturation and relating to function.

My question: is this a programme which seeems sound? and specifically, has anyone had experience with underwater treadmill therapy with HD? This all is at a cost of approx 1K per month and will easily increase if longer medication and aquatherapy is suggestedfor an extended time.

I would very much appreciate any comments from owners or persons with experience with a young GSD with this diagnosis (whose PennHIP cert vet also states has already signs of arthritic changes in the acetabulum and femoral heads) and especially anyone who has used underwater treadmills. Thank you very much. Alex
I am very sorry about your pup's diagnosis.

I would take a more conservative approach using supplements and physical therapy before starting your dog on Rimadyl and tramadol. How bad is your dog's pain? Is he struggling to move? Can he still play and run around? How severe are his symptoms? Multiple ortho vets have told me to always "treat the dog, not the xrays". Treat according to his symptoms.

I have heard good things about the injections. The cost can be a bit high though. You can reduce costs by learning to do the injections at home.

Dasuquin is a good joint supplement and might help prevent some future degenerative changes. Fish oil is also a great supplement for dogs with joint issues. Physical therapy and exercises will greatly help his mobility. I would recommend doing these as advised by the vet.

Hydrotherapy has great reviews for dogs with joint problems. It helps build muscle and keeps stress off joints. Unlike traditional exercise on ground, water therapy helps the dogs exercise without putting great stress on their problem hips/joints. Walking dogs in chest deep water is also a good idea. Hiking uphill is also a good way to put on muscle and maintain muscle mass in these dogs.

I would be conservative about the tramadol and Rimadyl. I would use these medications as needed.

As young as he is, he will most likely need some surgical intervention if he has severe symptoms at this age. Total hip replacements have good reviews and give the dog a great quality of life, but they are quite expensive. FHO and TPO are other options as well. I would get an appointment with an ortho vet at a hospital used to doing these surgeries so you can get a first hand opinion about his surgical interventions.
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Last edited by qbchottu; 08-15-2012 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My first gsd, Massie, was diagnosed with severe bilateral HD at about the same age. I had something called a pectineal myotomy (a salvage surgery that is no longer done) done at a year old and then did conservative management (swimming, hiking, joint support, etc.) for 4 years and then had a THR on one hip.

She died in 2000 so this was a long time ago but now I believe they recommend the FHO for young dogs. I know quite a few people have had this surgery done on their gsds and have seen very good success.

I would also put her on some really good joint support and vitamin C.


Massie lived to be almost 12 and died of something unrelated. She had a very active life and went hiking, cross country skiing and even backpacking (with a pack) all over the U.S. and Canada with me.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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the breeder lives in a state which has "lemon pet laws" and require her to compensate the buyer for congenital anomolies up to the purchase price.
If that is the law and is in the contract and the breeder knows this fact, then you are correct in expecting a refund. Good luck in getting your money back. Just FYI that *most* breeders will only offer a replacement. Seldom a refund. Which state is this?
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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wasn't suggesting lynching the breeder. most breeders i know would want to know about this so they can try and avoid this with future breedings. in their contracts, the ones i have seen offer a refund or pup replacement. sometimes no matter how much thought and planning goes into a litter, things go wrong.
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